A little bit Borderlands and a little bit MOBA, Gearbox’s new game Battleborn promises to keep the action high and the bullets flowing in 2016. Initial fears that the game will be too much like Borderlands are well grounded: Battleborn looks like Borderlands, it kind of plays like Borderlands, and it almost has the exact same amount of letters in its title as Borderlands. But if the demo at PAX Prime 2015 has proven anything, it’s that Battleborn feels different than its predecessor. Read the rest of this entry »
A new Roundup for a new month! Laura and I found ourselves in Mountain View this past week on a day off, and while we weren’t particularly close to GameStop, since we weren’t really doing anything anyway we made the adventure and headed there. I wasn’t disappointed, as a Buy 2 Get 1 Free deal was going on for all used Wii and DS products! Also, some friends of ours are moving this month and they decided to clear out some of their unwanted stuff, some of which included a small box of Xbox 360 games! And, surprisingly enough, I didn’t have many of them! Huzzah for free games (but sadness from friends moving). Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve all had a couple months to get used to the controls of Nintendo’s newest video game, Splatoon. While the ink-filled madness has been capturing many a Wii U fanboy, maybe you’ve found yourself at the wrong end of the Splat Roller more than once. We’ve been tackling the game’s many levels, modes, guns, and more and have come up with a few tips that you can use to boost your skills, increase your rank, and generally not stink at Splatoon! Here are some pro tips to make you the Splat King! Read the rest of this entry »
Splatoon is a really fun game. It’s without a doubt one of the best games on the Wii U. Somehow the combination of third person shooting, painting, and squids have created a unique and all around excellent video game. Nintendo has been supplementing the game with constant streams of additional content in the form of new levels, game modes, and weapons. There are still, however, some enhancements and additions that could make the game even better. In no particular order, here are ten features that will improve Splatoon. Read the rest of this entry »
In the middle of the summer, in the middle of California, in the middle of a draught, a small gathering of gamers come together for the greatest classic arcade convention on the west coast.
In this, my third year of attendance, I played conquered more games than past years, played more pinball than ever before in my collected lifetime, and discovered some unique and fun games I’d never heard of before. If you fancy yourself a classic/retro arcade game fan, and you live close to Santa Clara, California or can make the trip, I highly recommend checking out this little convention. Here’s a link to the show’s page, so you can plan for next year’s visit.
This year’s show was extra special to me because my brother Phil and I were able to secure a special surprise birthday present for our eldest brother: a plane ticket and pass to this year’s show! Seeing as he’s the one among us who appreciates arcade games and (especially) pinball machines most, we owed it to him to make sure he was here to check out the show. And certainly, he was impressed.
Pinball and classic arcade games all set to free play as far as the eye can see. Enthusiastic old game fans lining up to play their childhood favorites like Ms. Pac-Man and Robotron. Excited gamers trying out Gauntlet and Street Fighter II for the very first time. Arcade kings reminiscing about the good ol’ days of classic style pinball machines compared to their new-fangled and flashy counterparts. Young kids discovering how their parents entertained themselves in an age without the internet or portable gaming systems. A magical haven of nerd culture and discovery. And a kind of funky smell.
What would an arcade convention be without some great games? This year was absolutely no exception, with some new additions and returning favorites to make me and many others nostalgic and happy. X-Men Arcade and Captain America and the Avengers were two new games this year that I was pleased to sink an hour into and see through to the end. Midway game Cosmo Gang was constantly entertaining guests from young kids to eager adults. New and improved Killer Queen had a fully dedicated space to play the 5-on-5 multiplayer romp, with new levels and playable class. Dozens of pinball machines ranging from licensed machines like Metallica and Superman to the old classics with wooden cabinets and a Hercules machine that was easily the size of two machines combined.
Some new highlights for me were Tron Video Pinball, which was an amalgamation of physical pinball flipper buttons to press and a video screen displaying all the action. Another spin on pinball was Varkon, which was a vertical pinball machine; the ball moved fast and you had to react even faster. Both were really fun and unique!
Night Stocker was this weird driving and shooting game: you had to steer a vehicle with one hand while shooting down enemies with a light gun in the other. Really challenging but really fun. Blaster was a vector graphics gem that had multiple stages and goals, ranging from shooting space vampires to rescuing floating spacemen, to navigating through a veritable maze of pillars and enemy ships. And while I’ve played and enjoyed both Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. in the past, it wasn’t until this year that I really got to play Donkey Kong 3 and enjoy it. Uniquely different than the previous games but still a fun title!
In pinball land I got my hands on so many machines I was actually able to narrow down which pinball variant was my favorite: The fast and action packed games. Retro pinball games like Middle Earth (which has nothing to do with Hobbits) and The Hulk were fun and classic, but weren’t fast and flashy. Newer pinball machines like Super Mario Bros. and Terminator 2 were more fun but weren’t fast enough. Machines like Cyclone, which were incredibly fast in pinball speed and really dynamic on the board, ended up being my favorites. I also enjoyed some of the more “experimental” machines, like the gigantic aforementioned Hercules machines, as well as the dual-flipper game Roller Disco.
And that’s just scratching the surface of what California Extreme had to offer. An entire room dedicated to smaller console games was available. If you thought you were skilled enough to win a tournament and take home a sweet trophy you could sing up. Heck, I didn’t even mention how there was an entire section (with a truly dedicated fanbase) of rhythm games like Pop’n Music and Dance Dance Revolution, or how I started playing the original House of the Dead and after making it to the third level before finally dying only to turn around and see a small crowd gathered around me like it was a decade ago at the bowling alley. Single player games, two player games, six player games, even ten player games were there, ensuring everyone met someone new and enjoyed a common interest all through the night.
Chalk up California Extreme 2015 as another huge success. With next year being the 20th anniversary of the show, I’m hoping it’ll be bigger and better than ever. Honestly though, they can (and probably will) do the same thing year after year and I’ll happily attend and get my nostalgic gaming fix. For the hundreds of gamers who enjoyed the show this year and can’t wait until next year, game on.
Happy Fourth Anniversary to Slick Gaming!
When thinking of what to do with this minor milestone, Laura and I couldn’t really come up with anything spectacular. The best four player games? The best series with at least 4 entries? The best characters with only four fingers?! Yeah, all interesting ideas, but nothing really relating to a four year anniversary.
So what is four year anniversary worthy?
In four years this little blog has done so much: it’s gone from a simple place to log all my reviews for Inside Gaming Daily (May it rest in peace), to a resource for game collecting management, to a hub for my other gaming blogs, and to a place where I can simply speak freely about video games!
When I look back at the site, I still think of how exciting it was to first start out. I was (and in many ways still am) an amateur at blogging, but I always found it fun to create new posts. Even still I love seeing others comment on my content, leave me feedback on how to make things better, or simply just saying, “Yeah, that was such a cool game!” That kind of stuff fuels my motivation and really makes me want to continue Slick Gaming for years and years to come!
I’ve said it quite literally every year around this time, but I’ll say it again: I’m still looking to do more with the blog! I hear a lot of folks say life gets in the way of their creative outlets, but for me even if I’m not writing about something here I’m likely playing something new in my free time. Laura and I have been enjoying the heck out of Splatoon, for example, and we frequently have friends over to play Mario Party or board games! And whatever we’re doing, even if it’s not entirely related to gaming, I always have this thought in the back of my mind how it’ll make for a good post. Or I’ll write something down because it’s a good idea for a later revision. And if you follow my blog here at all you know I’m still purchasing new games like it’s nobody’s business.
None of that would exist if it wasn’t for you: the fans. If I can even call you that. Is it safe to say I have fans? A few of you on here constantly read my stuff, and I’m eternally grateful! And you guys have some truly awesome content as well!
Jett over at inthirdperson is a friend and a colleague! If you’re looking for a mix of video games, comics, and board games, check out his blog. Fresh content weekly, and tons of new games to occupy your time!
The Martian Oddity has a fun corner of the internet all to his own! I really enjoy reading his game pickup posts, because we share a similar bond in collecting. And I like any outlet where I can learn about new games!
Eric at The Warning Sign is my oldest follower, and he runs a blog collecting all kinds of fun stuff about movies, games, and more! Classy, all the way through, and a real sign of personal blogging excellence!
Paul at Grinding Down has maintained an online journal of all his escapades into a digital world. A blog chronicling your own video game life is pretty awesome, so check it out!
So here’s to Four Years at Slick Gaming!
2015 has plenty of awesome games coming out, and I plan on being there to enjoy most of them (my wallet, not so much). Thank you again for the continued support and encouragement.
Let’s see what Five years of Slick Gaming can do!
This blog has been stagnant for the past few weeks because life has been getting in my way. We’ve recently had a handful of birthdays come up (including mine and Laura’s!), a friend returned to the US after studying abroad for a year, and both of my brothers from out of state and out of town visited to go to California Extreme (more on that bit later). With work and other responsibilities getting in the way as well, unfortunately SlickGaming/DownStab has been thrown to the wayside. But that certainly doesn’t mean I haven’t been looking at games when I can get the chance! And with three weeks making up this Roundup, there are plenty of titles to discuss. So let’s begin! Read the rest of this entry »